Making its debut in Asia, the critically acclaimed Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London is being presented by HKRI Taikoo Hui mall.
Running until November 5, the exhibition features more than 140 pairs of shoes, including 14 pairs on special loan from singer/celebrity Karen Mok, who attended the opening ceremony alongside HKRI Taikoo Hui CEO Jackie Tang, V&A business and digital development director Alex Stitt, and exhibition curator Helen Persson.
The exhibition explores how shoes can cause both pain as well as pleasure for the wear, and more importantly, how footwear choices reflect human and societal behaviour. With shoes from as far back as the 1370s, the exhibition demonstrates the different roles played by shoes across cultures, occasions and histories.
There are five sections: Transformation, Status, Seduction, Creation and Obsession. The collection includes footwear from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.
Mok’s shoes on loan include the peep-toe evening pumps designed by Salvatore Ferragamo especially for her to wear on her wedding day, alongside the original design sketch with a personalised dedication.
“Shoes have long been a personal passion of mine and I was truly thrilled to be invited to collaborate on this exhibition,” says Mok.
Other featured designers include Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, Roger Vivier, Yves Saint Laurent and Zaha Hadid. Also on display are associated items such as sketches and accessories, and even the shoe lasts of such celebrities as Charlie Chaplin, Dita Von Teese, Paul Newman and Princess Diana.
As well as Mok’s shoes, there is footwear owned by or associated with such high-profile figures as David Beckham, Elton John, Kylie Minogue and The Queen Mother, plus the notorious pair of Vivienne Westwood platforms that caused supermodel Naomi Campbell to stumble on the catwalk in 1993.
HKRI Taikoo Hui has developed a range of extra elements including an audio tour narrated by Karen Mok, an interactive activation and studio pop-ups in partnership with tenants.